Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Bike to Work
Last week, we got an email: Bike to Work! For a good cause, to save gas, to get exercise! Like most people, my initial reaction was, (whiney voice), "But its tooo haaard!!" Not to mention I had a distinct fear of being hit by a car. Geesh, I am not even that comfortable with Baltimore drivers while in the confines of my Cavalier. I was not about to brave the shoulderless hills of my typical commute on my bike.
We got a second email: Bike to Work! And join us for fun bike activities like tune ups and rail trail rides! Raise money for a good cause, save gas, exercise! Still, I resisted. Sure, I like biking. My mountain bike is a prized possession. But mountain bikes are meant for woods. I have heard very few accounts of trees zooming in fast from behind and speeding past with inches to spare while spewing emissions in one's face.
A third email: We figured out a car-free route! Just meet us at the park and ride! Support charity, blah, blah, blah....OK. They got me. At the last minute, I sent the reply committing myself to meeting someone so I could Bike to Work. And save gas. And exercise. And get my car into the shop. I really needed brakes. They were making an awful grinding noise when I tried to stop, and frankly, I was afraid to drive the car.
(Aside to mom - Just kidding!! I say this fopr dramatic effect! Surely I would not be so lax in car maintenance! I am responsible and reliable!!)
(Aside to everyone else - Seriously. I had premonitions of flying down a hill, unable to stop in time and being splatted in all directions.)
Monday morning: I awoke at 6:15am and left the house at 6:30. We have showers at work, so no sense in losing (much) sleep. I rode my bike 38 minutes to the rendezvous point. This would have taken less time, but I rode about a mile out of the way to avoid crossing the interstate on-ramp. Then, the back road route. Hill #1, not too bad. Hill #2, ummm...ok. Hill #3, must...get...to top. Hill #4, seriously? Again? Hill #5, I gave up. My guides (on road bikes) waited patiently while I huffed and puffed. I began to actually feel my ass weighing me down. Granted, I am aware of its gargantuan size, but I can normally manuever the load. Apparently, a few miles uphill make gravity a bit stronger. Hill #6, the steepest of all. One of my guides pointed out that the office was just to the right. Great. I climb this hill, and I get to work for 8 hours. What motivation.
The emails suggested we try to bike to work every day this week. I am going to try one more day. Maybe it will get easier??
PS-The brakes were $672! But it is nice to have a car that does not resemble a death trap....